What do you call your rabbi?

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  • #1254922

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    What do you call your rabbi?

    [Rabbi First Name, or Rabbi Last Name, or First Name, or Rabbi?]

    For example, if your rabbi’s name with title is:

    Rabbi Eliyahu Ginsburg*

    And you wanted to talk to him, would you call him…

    1) Rabbi Eliyahu

    2) Rabbi Ginsburg

    3) Eliyahu

    4) Rabbi

    Does it make a difference if you are male or female? If you’re his peer in age? If you’re also a rabbi?

    Wondering what to do when there are several rabbis with the last name. It has happened before when I talked about meeting a particular rabbi and he has at least one relative with the same last name who is also a LOR. So then the person of whom I am speaking to says, which Rabbi [Last Name]?

    I wonder if I should just specify from the start. Furthermore, I wonder if the rabbi would prefer to call him by Rabbi [First Name] since it may speak more personally to him.

    I had a rabbi back in the day who told me to just call him by his first name and I did, but he was a bit younger.

    *[combined different names here and if this is a real person’s name it was unintentional]

    Thank you 🙂

    #1254987

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    In one of Rav Emanuel Feldman’s books, he writes the following funny true story: He and his son were both Rabbis (I guess his son was the assistant Rabbi or something.) In order to differentiate between them, people would refer to one as the Father and the other as the Son.

    One day someone called and he picked up the phone. “Rabbi Feldman speaking.”

    “Are you the father or the son?”, asked the lady.

    “Neither. I’m the holy ghost.”

    As soon as he said it, he realized that it was a bad idea as she might be christian. Turns out she was, but she had a sense of humor, so it was alright.

    #1255007

    Joseph
    Participant

    If you’re speaking to the rabbi, you refer to him as Rabbi Ginsburg even addressing him.

    If you’re speaking about him to someone else you can call him Rabbi Ginsburg, or if there is more than one rabbi with that name you can refer to him as Rabbi Eliyahu Ginsburg.

    #1255009

    YesOrNo
    Participant

    To the Ruv of the Shtiebel I say, “Ruv can I ask you a shyla?”
    To the Ruv of a Bais Haknesses (a bit more formal), “Can I ask the Ruv a shyla?” (Not addressing directly, rather in third person)

    #1255029

    Avi K
    Participant

    It depends. BTW, Rav Ovadia was against calling someone “Rav [last name]” because Rav Adaa bar Ahava said that he had a long life because he avoided this (Taanit 20b and Mishna Gittin 9:8 with Bartenura).

    #1255042

    Joseph
    Participant

    Lilmod, I’m surprised you understood the context of that joke given you didn’t understand some jokes passed around here referencing Christian concepts.

    #1255149

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Joseph, which jokes did I not get?

    I remember there was a discussion about immaculate conception once. As far as I recall, I didn’t not get anything; it was just that the term is apparently used incorrectly.

    And how often are jokes referencing christian concepts passed around here? I was actually slightly surprised the mods let that through – I was wondering if they would. I’m glad they did, because I think it’s very funny.

    #1255138

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “For example, if your rabbi’s name with title is:
    Rabbi Eliyahu Ginsburg*
    And you wanted to talk to him, would you call him…
    1) Rabbi Eliyahu
    2) Rabbi Ginsburg
    3) Eliyahu
    4) Rabbi”

    5) The Ruv

    #1255211

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Talking to him, I would say (like YesorNo & APushataYid), “I want to ask The Rov …”
    Talking about him, I would say, “The Rov said…”, if there was another Rabbi Ginsburg, “Reb Eliyohu (Ginsburg – if there is more than one Rabbi called Eliyohu) said…” I’ve been told that in America, the equivalent of Reb Eliyohu, would be Rav Eliyohu.

    Here in Manchester, there are two Rabonim with the exact same name. Let’s say for example it’s Rabbi Binyomin Greenberg. One is a Rov of a shul, the other is the mashgiach of a Yeshiva. (They happen to be mechutonim as well, but that’s for another time). The one who is a Rov, has a nickname, let’s say it’s Benny. So people will say, “I spoke to Reb Binyomin Greenberg today, I mean Reb Benny, and…” adding in the nickname for clarity. If they mean the other one, they will say “I spoke to Reb Binyomin Greenberg today, I mean the mashgiach/ the one from Shaarei Torah, and…”. In this case the nickname is used purely for clarity and does not demean the Rov in any way.

    #1255262

    Joseph
    Participant

    Benny doesn’t sound to batampte.

    #1255288

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Benny is not his real nickname, but it’s about equal to what it really is.

    #1255348

    Joseph
    Participant

    So it’s equally not batampte.

    #1255425

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    When referring to the Rabbi of our synagogue, I say Rabbi….last name
    When calling the house or synagogue office, I announce myself: This is Atty CTL, may I speak to the rabbi please.
    When he is in the privacy of the CTL hot tub or sauna or swimming pool, I call him by his first name.
    He’s more than 30 years younger than me.

    #1256149

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I think I used to know a Rav who was called Rav Benny. He was Israeli actually, and a RAM or something in Merkaz HaRav.

    #1257792

    Joseph
    Participant

    Would a very choshuve Rov go by a non-Jewish name? Could you imagine Rav Moshe Feinstein being known as Rabbi Moses?

    #1257884

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    What about Joseph?

    #1257889

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    One of the Baalei HaTosfos was named Peter.

    Someone mocked him by asking him, “Where is your name in the Torah?”

    “Right after yours – “פטר חמור””

    #1257901

    Joseph
    Participant

    Would you consider naming your future child, at his bris, Peter?

    #1257923

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I don’t think that many women can and will willingly consider naming their children anything at his bris specifically before he is born because many women may have the custom of not planning ahead for a baby who is not yet born.

    #1257924

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Good point. How come you are not Yosef in the CR, Joseph?

    #1258146

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Yosselle, You’re just not getting it. There are two Rabbonim in this town with exactly the same name. One of them had a nickname, presumably as a child, which for the purposes of this debate, let’s say is Benny. So people of the town, who wish to identify him, refer to Reb Benny, in addition to his full and proper title of Reb Binyomin Greenberg.

    He doesn’t choose the name Benny, it is used for convenience by the people, in a respectful way to differentiate him from his namesake.

    Capisce?

    #1258151

    Joseph
    Participant

    In the great Yekkishe tradition, the letter J is used for pronouncing the letter Yud, in transliteration.

    #1258156

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Sorry Josselle. Also, ‘Jekkisch’, surely?

    #1258457

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Are you a Yekke? Is that why Yekke2 is Yekke2? I always wondered who #1 was.

    #1258477

    yekke2
    Participant

    There is no Yekke #1.

    Reminds me of the joke about the wife who told her unsuccessful husband that he’s such a shlumazel that if there was an award for being a loser, he’d get second place.

    Startled, he asked why only #2 and not first.

    Cackling, his wife told him that he was such a loser, he’d never be #1 in anything.

    #1258469

    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m #1.

    #1258509

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Yekke, so why are you Yekke2 and not Yekke1 or just plain Yekke?

    #1258542

    rebshidduch
    Participant

    rabbi ________

    #1258543

    rebshidduch
    Participant

    Lilmod, because he is a second generation yekke.

    #1258560

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Yekke2 that’s a joke? So mean 🙁

    #1258599

    Geordie613
    Participant

    No genuine Yekke would be so presumptuous as to call themselves Yekke1.

    #1258628

    Joseph
    Participant

    Did you ever meet the Yekke who is habitually late?

    #1258821

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph…………..
    My maternal side is Yekke, arriving in NY from Bavaria in 1868

    I was raised that if you are not 20 minutes early you are late.

    You arrive for an 8PM invitation at 7:40 and park the car. At 7:57, you exit the car, check to make sure your clothing, hair, etc. are all correctly straight, hostess gift in hand, you walk to the front door and at exactly 8PM you ring the bell.

    Someone who is habitually late is not a Yekke, he is an aberration.

    #1258824

    Joseph
    Participant

    Did Yekkes pickup that habit from German gentiles, who are also renowned for their punctuality?

    #1258847

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph………………
    I honestly don’t know, but Yekkes did business in the German Gentile world and certainly would have had to conform to their time habits.
    Non-Hareidi Jews attended German Gymnasiums (e.g. Einstein) and would have always been seated in class before Herr Doktorr Professor entered.

    My niece’s German Jewish family settled in St’ Louis about 130 years ago. WQhen she married my nephew the wedding was held in the Missouri Club with a brought in Kosher caterer. Her parents, grand parents and great grandparents had all been members along with the major German Gentile families such as Busch from Budweiser Breweries. The German community in St. Louis to this day is totally mixed Jewish and Gentile and functions in harmony.

    Her family is full of judges and many politicians from both the Missouri side and Illinois side of the Mississippi River were invited. The Illinois Governor was late, but the affair was not delayed one minute for his arrival. The German-American merchants and politicians were all seated promptly before the stated time on the invitations.

    As I’ve posted before, my German side arrived in NY in 1868, there was no one left to ask what was learned in Germany, the last known relation on that side left in 1880.

    My Litvak side arrived at Castle Garden, NY in 1872, by 1890 all relatives had either arrived in NY or were living in Manchester, England. B”H no known relative was affected by the Shoah.

    #1258871

    Joseph
    Participant

    Did the IL Governor later become a convict?

    #1259019

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph

    No, it was about 10 years before that Governor assumed office

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